Co-op registers 38% rise in current account sales
by Gill Montia
Co-operative Bank Current Accounts saw an impressive 38% rise in current account sales during 2009.
Twenty-two per cent of new customers were switchers and the figures show a 31% increase in switching activity from the UK’s big four banks (Lloyds Banking Group, HSBC, Barclays and RBS).
According to research, those looking for a new current account provider are motivated by customer service issues (29%), online banking facilities (23%) and a local branch (19%).
Only 14% are searching for a transparent charging structure and 10% a bank with strong ethical policies, such as Co-operative Bank.
The figures also indicate that consumers are showing more interest in their banks, with post credit crisis distrust in financial institutions, dissatisfaction over banks’ remuneration policies and confusion over charges likely to be influencing factors.
However, the average Briton is still more likely to switch energy providers, move house, or switch mobile phone companies than switch their current account.
Co-operative Financial Services spokesman, John Hughes, comments: “Historically many people chose their banking provider when they were younger and stayed with that provider throughout their life.”
He adds: “However now more than ever consumers should review their banking products as their personal circumstances change to ensure that their account suits their financial needs and service requirements.”
Mr Hughes also reassures potential switchers that banks now do the bulk of the work involved in the process, including transferring direct debits and existing balances.